Representing over 1,000 colleges and universities, the NCAA was founded to protect student athletes competing at the college level. NCAA rules and guidelines are set to make sure that all athletes are competing on level ground.
Who Needs to be NCAA Eligible?
Recruits that are in conversations with division I and division II athletic programs need to be cleared through the NCAA Eligibility Center before they can practice with the college teams or be offered scholarship options at division I and division II levels.
Why Do Potential Student-Athletes Need to Meet NCAA Eligibility?
College athletic programs want to ensure that potential recruits understand they are to be considered a student first and an athlete second. This is the reason for meeting academic eligibility requirements. The NCAA Eligibility Center verifies that all student athletes have met and passed core courses with a minimum grade point average to ensure that the athletes are fully prepared for the college experience.
Do NCAA Colleges All Have the Same Academic Eligibility?
Not always, NCAA colleges that are under the division I and division II umbrellas are required to have recruits meet the NCAA Eligibility Center standards before they will be considered for participation on an athletic team. In some cases, DI and DII NCAA colleges have their own academic standards in addition to the eligibility center requirements.
Division III colleges and universities each have potential recruits meet academic criteria set by the institution. These potential recruits do not need to register with the NCAA Eligibility Center; all eligibility will be cleared through the individual college and athletic departments.
What are the Eligibility Requirements of NCAA Division I and Division II?
Division I academic eligibility standards are set on a sliding scale algorithm. The division II academics are ranked on minimum standards of grade point average and SAT or ACT test scores. Student athletes must meet these standards to be offered a spot on a team or an athletic scholarship.
When Will You Need to Begin Working Toward Meeting NCAA Eligibility?
Students that want to play at the NCAA DI or DII levels will need to begin working toward meeting their NCAA college eligibility beginning their ninth-grade year. Beginning the process early will allow athletes adequate time to meet with their guidance counselors, who will assist in enrolling them in the NCAA core courses.